Album Review: ‘My Streets’ from the Bob Polding Band

Coming with a strong sound reminiscent of rock’s past is the newest album “My Streets” by the Bob Polding Band.  From the New Jersey, the influence of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and countless other shore acts is apparent right away.  The music screams of a new “Americana” that is a mix of country and rock.  The entire album is loaded with great guitar riffs and wonderful lyrics that keep the album in constant motion from beginning to end.

The album opens up with the title track “My Streets” and it is easily seen why this was the name of the album as well.  The saxophone soars throughout the track and is always present in this upbeat number.  The song talks about love, life, and memories of things that have passed long ago.  Like some of the other artists who have come from Jersey and written about their home, Bob has shown how much he loves his home in this opener.  “One Dance” is another wonderful track with great violin work.  The song is about how, sometimes, just one dance can change everything in your life.  It is one of the slower tracks on the album, but maybe it is just a slow dance that you want with that person.  The country vibe to the track melds perfectly with the lyrics and shows the band is comfortable in switching up their music style.

“Hey Jeni” comes on next with a very catchy guitar riff and is an upbeat country rocker.  The thumping drums keep the track moving along with the pedal steel getting to shine as well.  It’s one of the tracks on the album you’ll be nodding to without even noticing you’re doing it.   “Painted On Smile” is a song that continuously builds with the violin and fiddle going back and forth, almost fighting to see which will take the lead.  The ending of the song is great as the woman who was the focus of the whole song is asked to come take a final leap and go for a ride and have her cares disappear.  “Dam Good Day” is a great country rock song that erupts in the back half of the song with some great guitar work on display.  This will be another song that will get stuck in your head and have you nodding along.  The foreboding keys that introduce “War” let you know this will be one of the more serious songs on the album.  The track builds upon itself creating a daunting landscape that isn’t seen anywhere else on the album.

The Bob Polding Band has tried to do something that is not seen from many acts that hail from New Jersey, mixing rock and country.  They have pulled it off well here and it will be interesting to see where this direction takes them in the future.

Key Tracks: My Streets, Painted On Smile, War